‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’ … Bhagavad-Gita
BBC History Documentary
Every once in a while a book is written that can literally change ones life.
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Kai Bird (Author), Martin J. Sherwin (Author)
is one such book. I am Can’t wait to see Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. The movie comes out in iMax on July 21 and you can count on me being there in the iMax theatre at Garden City Mall. Till then I am deep into the weeds in American Prometheus and the internet trawling all I can on the man, the period, the issues.
ChatGPT has this to say about the man:
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a renowned American physicist who is best known for his role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. He was born in New York City in 1904, and went on to attend Harvard University and the University of Cambridge, where he studied physics.
During World War II, Oppenheimer was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, a research effort that aimed to develop the first nuclear weapons. He played a key role in the project, overseeing the work of thousands of scientists and engineers, and was instrumental in the successful development of the atomic bomb.
After the war, Oppenheimer became an outspoken advocate for international control of nuclear weapons, which earned him the ire of some government officials who viewed him as a security risk. In 1954, he was stripped of his security clearance by the U.S. government, which effectively ended his career in government service.
Despite this setback, Oppenheimer continued to be a respected figure in the scientific community, and was awarded numerous honors and awards for his contributions to physics and national defense. He died in 1967 at the age of 62.
Excellent write-up on Rotten Tomatoes:
Amazon kindle and audiobook link: